On 17 March 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NSW Department of Community Services, Human Services and the Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat NSW (AbSec) was signed in an historic ceremony at Parliament House.
The MoU formally recognises the partnership required to ensure that a culturally appropriate and effective response to protecting Aboriginal children at risk of harm is provided across both the government and non-government sectors, with the help of extended family members and the community. It aims to reduce the unacceptable over-representation of Aboriginal children in the child protection system, especially when other means of family and community intervention might be more appropriate.
The MoU also establishes the respective roles and responsibilities of the parties in two very important Keep Them Safe actions - the development of an Aboriginal child specialist advice and support model of consultation, and the establishment of four new Intensive Family Based Services in the non-government sector.
The MoU underpins the government's commitment to doing things differently and more effectively with Aboriginal communities on child protection matters. The full text of the signing speech and the media release are now available.